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Toxocara: dogwalking and playing fields
  1. S Gillespie
  1. Department of Medical Microbiology, Royal Free and University College London, Royal Free Campus, London NW3 2PF, UK, stepheng@rfc.ucl.ac.uk

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    In villages, towns, and cities throughout the country, land is set aside for human recreation. Public and private playing fields enable the population to indulge in sport and recreation, but these areas are often convenient for another form of human activity: dog walking. Sportsmen may be concerned that toxocaral infection may be acquired from canine defaecation on public playing fields, and the fastidious groundsmen may remove offending articles before matches are played. However, in doing so, they do little to reduce the risk of toxocaral infection.

    Life cycle

    Toxocara canis is the round worm (ascarid) parasite of canids: dogs and foxes. It has a complex and unusual life cycle. Eggs, when ingested, hatch in the small intestine and invade the intestinal wall. They are taken up in the portal …

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